by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
You’ve got suggestions for trimming $9 trillion from the federal budget over 10 years, as well as theories on how we got into this mess.
We’ve lived for the last 30 years in this country off of the next 30. And the bill’s due. Remember, I’m suggesting what I see; I’ve done more oversight in the federal government than any other senator in the last 50 years. I’ve looked in more nooks and crannies. So you can take a trillion dollars out of the Pentagon. I’m a defense hawk. But every military man I’ve talked to, or woman, I say, “If you had to, could you get 10 to 15 percent out of your budget?” There hasn’t been one of them that hasn’t told me yes.
OK, that’s $1 trillion. Give me $8 trillion more.
Next you cut two and a half trillion from discretionary spending …
Discretionary spending’s too small. There isn’t that much to cut.
We have doubled the size of the federal government over the last 10 years in this country. And when people hear that, they can’t believe it. The biggest problems are entitlements. It’s $600 billion a year outside of the Pentagon. If you cut 20 percent, that’s $1.25 trillion.
And who suffers as a result?
Nobody. Let me give you an example. We have 47 job training programs, spend almost $19 billion a year, none of them work, all of them duplicate each other except for three, and we’re thinking about adding more.